Voted Out.   64 comments

I spent some time yesterday running instances with Elentari.  She’d recently hit 85 and was all shiny and ready to hit heroics.  I ran her through Ahune the Frost Lord (hello haste cloak!) and then thought “I have time to run my daily heroic” and queued up.  I notice that healers have the call to arms buff (or whatever it’s called) and figured that I shouldn’t have to wait too terribly long for my queue to pop up and get started.

Sure enough, within a couple of minute my queue flashes up on my screen and I find myself looking at the Grim Batol loading bar.  Now, this instance can be a nightmare if the group is careless/doesn’t know what they are doing, but I’m down with it.  I mean, I’m a fresh 85, but it’s not as if I don’t have experience healing this zone as a new druid.  We start the instance and the third pull the tank falls off the edge.  I have no idea how this happened, but there you have it.  Of course, PuGs are now too good to use CC *ahem*, so all of the mobs are running rampant and we naturally wipe.

Everything is fairly uneventful and we get to the first boss.  It is fine – except the entire time they are killing the boss I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off asking people to kill the troggs and praying I can survive until nature’s grasp comes up off of cooldown again.  All the while, I am continuing to heal the tank and not one time (as I am frantically kiting the troggs that no one can be bothered to kill) does the tank drops below 50% health.

We move along to the next boss, the big thing with the swords and the shield and the mace.  As we pull the hunter disengages himself off of the ledge.  I cannot make this shit up folks.  It takes me a while to realize this as I search around to combat rez him.  All of the while this is happening the DK not only stands in lava pools, but doesn’t move from the falling rubble on the ceiling.  No matter how much I heal, I cannot save him.  I combat rez him up, for him to do the exact same thing again and die…again.  While all of this is going on, the mage doesn’t move from the flaming shield breath and dies – declaring “I got no heals”.  And the tank, the tank stands there and tanks the boss while he is encumbered, and I somehow manage to keep him alive.  For the next five minutes, with the three dead DPS, I manage to keep that tank alive before I am so out of mana that there is nothing for me to do. 

We wipe.

As we release and run back, I ask the DK “do you understand how this fight works”.  There is no response.  And as I am reaching the zone in I get a message telling me “you have been removed from the group”.  My jaw hit the floor.  I had never, ever been vote kicked out of a group before.  Ever.  And I’ve been having the kind of emotional roller coaster week that the action of four people who played poorly and then blamed me really shook me up.  I wasn’t even going to be given a second chance after one wipe?  A wipe that wasn’t even my fault?

I sat there for a minute staring at my screen, somewhat in denial that this had happened.  I went through the fight in my head, I started going through Skada doubting myself – “did I really not heal the mage”?   But the truth was there – I hadn’t done a bad job.  I fact, the mage had a WG and a Rejuv running on him that ticked as he was standing in the flame dying.  I can’t heal through blatantly bad play.  Nor, frankly, should I be expected to do so.   Had I been on Beru, I might have been able to save it – but I might not.

So there I was, standing outside of the instance, summarily removed from my group by the four people who were responsible for failing the fight.  And I was pretty hurt by that.  Eventually I shook it off.  I knew it wasn’t my fault.  But it took me a good 10 minutes to muster up enough chutzpah to queue up for another heroic.

And then it hit me.

The real tragedy wasn’t really that I was vote kicked.  What if I hadn’t been a veteran of the game, the LFD or healing?  What if this had been my first experience with healing a heroic or the LFD tool?  What if I didn’t know about the mechanics of the encounter and couldn’t know where people were making mistakes?  What if I didn’t know about tools like Recount or Skada that I could use to see exactly what killed someone?  What if I was kicked from that group and believed that it was my fault?

I mean, here I am not only a veteran of the game but this is my second druid and I’d like to think that I know what I’m doing.  Being voted out of the group had a pretty negative effect on me – I can’t imagine what the result would have been if this was one of my first experiences healing.  I imagine that I would have perhaps felt dejected and I am not entirely sure that I wouldn’t have logged out at that point rather than queuing up again.  I mean as it was I damn near logged out and started up Portal thinking “I don’t need this shit”.

And as I thought about that, it made me pretty angry

No wonder people don’t feel any longevity in this expansion.  Part of that disconnect is because right now WoW is filled with players that lack accountability and are less interested in helping other players improve than they are with doing what’s easiest and fastest for them.

I mean, I got one pull.  One.  And then it was decreed that I wasn’t good enough and instead of giving me another opportunity I was told, by these four people who don’t know me, that I wasn’t good enough to play with them.  And the kicker is that their mistakes that killed them, I really had nothing to do with it.  But forgetting all of that for a moment, the real question to ask is how on earth a new player supposed to improve if they aren’t ever given the opportunity to learn?  If people write them off after one or two wipes?

I guess what I’m trying to get across here is that before you hit that vote to kick button – make sure that they player in question really ought to be kicked from your group.  Don’t kick a new player just because they are new – explain encounters to them, help them learn to become a better player.  Don’t kick a new player because you wiped once or twice, especially if you don’t even know for fact that they are to blame.  Don’t assume a player is just “bad” – take a minute and try to understand that player, maybe this is the first time they’ve ever tanked.  If you are a tank and your healer is struggling during trash, maybe ask yourself “is part of this my fault?”.  If you are a DPS that dies constantly, ponder if you are making mistakes like standing in the bad or pulling threat.

Whatever you do, don’t be so quick to hit that vote kick button.

Honestly, part of me wishes that the vote kick was never given as an option.  Sure it’s nice to be able to kick that guy that’s being an asshole or the guy that went link dead 10 minutes ago or has been AFK the first half of the instance – but more often than not it’s being used to kick someone who probably doesn’t deserve to be kicked and just wants the chance and opportunity to improve.  And it’s disheartening to think about how many people find themselves staring at the zone in of a dungeon wondering what they did wrong when they were trying their best.

Posted June 23, 2011 by Beruthiel in /rant, /shame, Alt-aholic!, Druid Healing

64 responses to “Voted Out.

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  1. I kinda figure that getting vote-kicked when it’s not my fault is just the group allowing me to not have to deal with them sucking, lol

    • Unfortunately I don’t have that sunny disposition or outlook! I would have much rather struggled through until we got it right and solved the problems than being blamed as the problem :(

  2. Consider the other approach to this problem. At leas the tank and the mage are playing horribly. The tank is unresponsive and the mage is oblivious. They are wasting your time. You’d be better off asking or instigating them to kick you so you no longer have to deal with them, you don’t take the Deserter debuff, and you can requeue without delay.

    In other words, don’t be afraid to think badly of other people. It is a Dungeon Finder PuG, the purest form of randomness in the game where you owe each other nothing. If the others prove themselves bad players then they’ve done you a favor by kicking you – even if their actions are done out of ignorance. The most helpful thing you could do would be to publish their names/servers as a warning to your readers to be wary of these players and their behavior.

    • But isn’t the attitude that you described part of the problem? People thinking “you owe each other nothing” is the biggest part of what is wrong with the system/game, in my opinion. I’d much rather (and have) coached a newer or less experienced player through something and succeeded than given up on them immediately.

      Unfortunately it’s not in my nature to think badly of other people. I always look for the best. I PuG a lot. From leveling to gearing alts, and it’s always disapointing to see people treat others, especially those who are obviously new, poorly. You’ll have to forgive me for not wanting to be part of the problem that has me all worked up in the post above, it’s just not who I am! ;)

      • I too, often will coach other players. I’ve even had to kick people for being rude when I was explaining in a Blackfathom Deeps group to the tank, about how to perform a LOS pull and when to do it, and what it is called. However, I’m not sure its reasonable to expect others to want to do that, or to want to do that all the time. I don’t want to do it all the time, and I’m not willing to do it all the time. Most of the time sure, but sometimes, I just want to get my daily done and get some sleep. While it is fair to expect people to be civil, its not fair to expect them to teach each other.

      • Just because you owe them nothing doesn’t mean you don’t want something. You want to complete the instance. You want gear, points, and/or achievements. You want more skilled players in the game playing with you.

        So do what you do. Heal to the best of your ability. When a groupmate appears completely ignorant of an encounter then ask them or describe what they’re missing – politely and tactfully. You owe them nothing, but it is to your advantage that they play well. If they refuse to communicate, take advice, or otherwise help the group then you have no reason to be upset beyond the fact that they are wasting your time.

        A similar situation occurs in raids. Just because you are able to filter out a lot of bad players through the app/eval process doesn’t mean they aren’t nice people. And I’m sure you have at least a few nice guildies who have some weird attraction to void zones. It is to your advantage that they play well, but you know there are certain things they must do if they want to keep raiding with you.

  3. I’ve been voted out on my main raiding toon, Madrana, before. I think it was probably in early or mid-January, so I wasn’t super raid geared (we started raiding January 4th) and I got kicked. I could not believe it. I was agog. I knew exactly why people had died (nothing as epic as falling off ledges!) and had been in the midst of explaining it to people when, bam. Removed.

    I’ll still vote kick people fairly readily, but I will ALWAYS give someone at least two wipes. First wipe, okay, that’s my bad for not explaining. Second wipe? That’s probably their bad for not performing or not asking for MORE clarification when I say “any questions? Now’s the time! :)” That’s for the really clueless people not DPSing adds on Erudax, or not standing in the eye of the shadow gale despite repeated requests to do so.

    But I had this one group the other day, on my baby pally, that couldn’t get the hang of Valiona in Grim Batol. They were trying, though. It took us four wipes before we had everyone understanding everything and there were no prompts to kick anyone. Once they got the hang of killing the elementals, they unfortunately would get breathed on by Valiona and then when they’d watch out for that, the elementals would blow us up, etc. They just needed to piece it all together, you know? For that, for a good looking effort, I won’t kick someone.

    It’s when they’ve had it explained to them (I’ve even explained things in French for people!) and they STILL don’t even try that I’ll kick them readily.

    Lack of effort translates to vote-kick-worthy failure, IMHO. But I always do give them a chance at redemption. After that, it’s not my fault if they haven’t redeedmed themselves after I’ve done everything I can to inform them as to how to do so.

    One thing that’s seemed to help is running Fatality in parties. So they can see when they die to slime or other environmental issues they could have, should have, avoided. :)

    • When I join a LFG it’s for the long haul. I can count the number of times I’ve left a PuG due to frustration on one hand. I pretty firmly believe that all groups can succeed with a little patience and someone helping those who don’t know the fight. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve zoned into a group to hear someone say “I’ve never been here before” and seemingly feel embarassed or ashamed by it – and the fact that they feel that way or have to qualify why they may make a mistake in advance makes me a little angry. New players shouldn’t feel bad about being new. They shouldn’t be afraid to make a mistake for fear of being removed.

      Unfortunately that are too many people who don’t think that way, and have vote kick happy trigger fingers!

      Just as a random fact – I almost never vote “yes” when a vote kick is initiated for performance issues. Instead, I start offering advice in whispers to the person struggling.

  4. LFD right now is completely whack. It doesn’t even matter what level — I have a tiny healer, a tank, and a ton of dps at various brackets — and even just silent experiences are so refreshing as to be completely novel that I think an actual positive experience might just make me up and die of shock. I have no idea what’s going on (is it just internet anonymity providing a lack of consequences?), but I don’t know if even putting the Ashes of A’lar in the Mysterious Satchel of Mysterious Mystery is enough to keep people putting up with the pug attitudes.

    • I just don’t understand why people are so intollerant (is that even a word?!). I mean, everyone should get an opportunity to learn! And the truth is that mistakes happen. I have 5 nights of Heroic Council wipes from players that are 12/13 heroic raiding that can attest to that fact! There really should be a way to adjust the LFD tool to where there is an “asshole” category and a “needs improvement” category – and you should have to be voted more than once to be ousted if “needs improvement” is the reason behind the vote.

      • My tiny bear was votekicked after a series of “u pull to slow” in Shadowfang Keep at level 18. EIGHTEEN. I don’t even know what the crap all my buttons do at 18! Of course I’m pulling slowly! What the crap, people?

  5. I couldn’t agree with you more. Even though I like the ability to get in a group with relative ease, the LFD tool has many negatives to it. It allows our baser/selfish nature take over with little to no accountability. Finding community for new players is harder, since much of your play is either solo,nor thru the LFD tool. We are more isolated and more self serving.

    There has to be something we can do to change this. Perhaps we can use our particular realm forums to put teams together. Maybe we can promote particular chat channels for those needing instances, but not wanting to use the LFD tool.

    We have a very creative, intelligent, and dedicated community. I’m sure that we can figure out something of our own accord.

    Zwingli

    • If only it were so easy! :)

      Honestly, I could have asked in guild – but there were few people online mid-day and I really don’t mind queuing the LFD system. Most of the time the experiences are at a minimum tolerable, if not good. But unfortunately it is often the few than can ruin it for the many. All it takes is that one guy being a jerk, or that one person who is too impatient to take the extra 10 minutes for the instance to explain each boss.

      Part of the fun I have while working with a LFD group is to see if I can make a difference to one person in the group, or pull a group that is struggling into success. But as you have noted, lately those efforts are met with “lawl – it’s just trash L2P” or some such nonsense. It’s a little bit sad that often community is taken out of a game that is supposedly built around just that.

  6. I think this is a great point. As you noted, you’ll get over it because you’re experienced and know what was really going on here: bad players looking to blame anyone but themselves for their failure. However, it really sucks for the newer players. I still remember trying to heal my first heroic in BC, and having the tank drop after the first trash pull because “the healer doesn’t have enough spellpower.” It really sucked, because I had spent weeks making sure I had all the gear I could obtain before that point, and I was as prepared for that 5 man as most people are for progression raids.

    Now, I’m sure I was at the minimum gear level to heal the place, but I know I was able to heal it, because the next day I did so in a guild run. It’s really disheartening how most players treat people in WoW, and I’m not sure it’s a new thing, just more apparent as it becomes easier to group with more people through LFG. The other players are viewed simply tools. It seems as though most players want an overgeared tank, and overgeared healer, and ideally 2 other DPS who can carry them while they gear up. Why bother to help or communicate with others, when you can simply drop group and find another random later on that will be happy to carry you in silence?

    • I think you are right in that many people are looking for the fastest, easiest way to meet their goals with little or no regard for the others they may meet in their journey. As much as I wish that weren’t the case, it seems to be very true with an overwhelming frequency. I know people complained about having to sit in trade all day trying to put a group together, but there is a part of me that misses the companionship I had with the four people that cleared Stratholme with me over the course of 5 or 6 hours. I miss when wiping was the tank saying “welp, I know not to do that again!” and everyone laughed with them and we all ran back to do it again. And, perhaps it’s all nostolgic, but I still remember the four people that I cleared my first Stratholm with, six years later. In fact – one of them is a Friends and Family member in my guild with his horde alts!

      I can honestly, and somewhat sadly, say that I don’t have the same memories from any LFD group that I’ve run since the system has been implemented. I’m not entirely sure what that says about either the game or the players, but it should say something.

  7. I’ve rarely ever been vote-kicked during my time as a tank, but whenever I do, I get that same worried feeling. “Am I not a good player? Did I really do that poor a job?” It makes me sad and extremely anxious. I love that behind all those bad feelings, you’re considering the new players. It has to be so much more stressful for them. Us experienced players at least know of ways to prove it wasn’t our fault, but the newer ones haven’t discovered those tools yet. The best thing I can really do for them is be patient, and only use the vote-kick for good.

    • I didn’t want to be hugely overdramtic about the incident – but I’ve been having the kind of week where something as silly as getting voted out of that group had tears welling up in my eyes. I didn’t shed them! But they threatened to fall. That, however, wasn’t entirely the groups fault as there are about a million underlying factors that had me all wound up.

      I really just wish people had a touch more patience!

  8. Their ignorance leads to their loss.

    Frankly, I can’t believe this hasn’t happened to you before. It has been like this since LFD made heroics impersonal and anonymous- giving people the “courage” to be ass-hats. Whenever I use LFD, I like to scan the others- see how many are in the same guild, etc- to see what my odds are of completing the instance to get my points. I’ve done this since I got booted at the last boss when I was grouped with four from the same guild. The instance had gone smooth up until I was kicked. I assume it was to make room for another guildy, but who knows!? I do miss the friendlier days of pugs, when people would explain fights if needed- but I really have only seen that once or twice since TBC days.

    And lol about the deaths to the Cliff Edge Boss! A distant cousin to the Elevator Boss in BWD.

    Thanks for sharing these comical (if frustrating) encounters and keep your chin up!

    • Nope! Never! I mean, I always go in with a positive and friendly attitude. And frequently I’ll even get compliments on my healing, but I’ve never been voted out. And I use the LFD tool a lot while leveling and gearing alts! I’ve never really thought that I might not get the opportunity to complete a group that I’ve joined.

      And yea…falling off the edge. I could see it on the trash pull, but on the boss? I don’t even know how that hunter pulled it off!

  9. I say no to more vote kicks than I agree with, as I feel the system is used far too lightly. The one time I that I seriously WAS tempted to use a vote kick was a run in ZA when I was on my rogue. I was considering it when the other dps tried and found we couldn’t, so we had to sit down and explain to the prot/holy paladin that she just wasn’t cutting it as a tank on Daakara (after going through four healers on that fight alone) and after a LOT of resistance from her, finally managed to reason her into going to her holy spec and getting a different tank. We downed him on the next attempt, too. I felt bad for the paladin, we had gotten through the rest of ZA, after all, but she just didn’t have her taunt timing for the cat phase down well enough to get us through that fight. At least that way she got her completion and so did we.

    But as cruel as it sounds, and I know you’ve been through it, as have I, you gotta have or develop a thick skin to survive using the LFD tool on a regular basis, because there ARE idiots out there and we are for certain going to run into them. All you can do for those who are unjustly kicked is reassure them when you can and give them hope as they do develop that or hope they have supportive guildies and/or friends. I wish I did know how to eliminate the idiots, but there is no effective way to do that. All I can say is that perhaps after going through several healers, they might figure out the problem is not with the healers, but with themselves…

    • I wholeheartedly agree that the vote kick system is used far too lightly. It’s not meant to be a tool for randomly removing people that look at you funny or have a name you don’t like. It’s meant to be a way to remove players who are disrespectful to the group. I’ve been abused left and right in the LFD system – and sadly, mostly on my tank (I hate the words go go go). And I have to say, sadly, I kind of understand why so many LFD tanks are assholes. And the truth is, many times they probably didn’t start off that way!

      I am glad that you all were able to find a way to help the paladin finish the zone. Who knows, perhaps her watching someone else tank the encounter gave her a better understanding of what she was doing wrong, and will result in her being more successful on the fight as a tank! :)

  10. As a dps, I blame dps.

    There’s no accountability because there’s no direct correlation between one’s actions and their effects. Tanks and healers feel the cause and effect constantly. “If I don’t interrupt this cast, I take 50K damage. Combine that with the white hits and I die if I don’t interrupt. Rebuke at the ready!” But dps lack that feedback. “If I use utility, that’s a GCD ‘wasted’, which lowers my dps. If I move, my dps drops. So why would I do either? The healer’s job is to keep us alive. The tank’s job is to hold aggro and survive. My job is to kill. They do their jobs so I can do mine.” What happens is the tanks and healers coddle dps just to finish the instance. They do the heavy lifting yet they get abused for every failure because their failures lead directly to wipes. DPS failures lead to occasional deaths and, well, nothing else.

    • There is definitely some truth to your statement. While DPS may get poked at for doing sub-par numbers, they are rarely what will make or break a fight, rather they just make it harder to win on those around them. But they are almost never called to count on their performance, which is too bad. I think the other thing that is important to look at too is whether a DPS is performing lower because they are new/undergeared or because they are just lazy. A lot of times I see new/undergeared DPS that can easily dish it out because they are truly trying to do a good job while that guy in full epics is half AFK autoshooting and phoning in his performance. :(

  11. Couple stories:

    First time I ever got kicked, were in my shadow priest outfit (dots, dots, and moar dots), and gear was mostly pre-heroic blues. Rolled inta heroic AN and everybodies else were in ICC gear. Well, not surprisings everything were well and deadified before me dots could tick more’n once or twice. Guess they figgered they was too lofty fer me dps, and kicked me just before the last boss.

    Vyp once went ta tank normal UK as a favor fer teh Tiz. So they zone in, and since I’s on my laptop where I don’t has Outfitter up-ta-date it takes Vyp a couple minutes fer ta get her 245-264ish tanking gear on. And yah, she’s sportin’ her Kingslayer title. But the hunter in the group thought it were taking too long, and initiatified a kick vote (didn’t pass).

    “Honestly, part of me wishes that the vote kick was never given as an option. “
    I really don’t believe the Blizz designers play the same game we do. They may take a break from lookin’ at statistics and log summaries fer ta play a game what may look the same, and sound the same, but does Ghostcrawler ever have ta justify his performance ta four random strangers? I has serious doubts.

    • You know, I think you are on to something with that. I wonder how many of those guys are in our groups day in and day out having the same experiences that we do. I know that they do say they play the game – but to what extent? And do they have the same experiences that the rest of the playerbase? I’d really be curious to know if they are truly getting down in the trenches with the rest of us!

  12. I’ve been vote kicked before… by the same reasons as you. Newcomer group of friends roll into an instance and, like Wrath, just EXPECTS that the healer can heal through anything. I’m a healer, not a miracle worker (though we’ve now and then managed to make some miracles happen, like solo-healing a raid boss from 50% to 0% ^^). I now hold everyone accountable for their damage. My mana is for the tank; if I see a DPS taking unecessary damage, they get a rejuv and be glad that I did it. If they keep on taking unnecessary damage, THEY DESERVE TO DIE. 90% of all damage from bosses in this game is avoidable now.

    Problem is, as you masterfully pointed out, people think they can muscle through any instance. No one thinks CC is necessary anymore. DPS just assume the tank can take anything off their asses and the healers can heal through anything, if they can put up more dps to kill stuff faster. Yeah, that disheartens me a lot. But… I dunno if I’m just lucky, but for every 1 bad pug that vote kick me, I get about 5 good pugs, or fresh 85’s that are actually WILLING TO LEARN the fights on heroic… It kind of gives me hope the game won’t die anytime soon. :)

    • I have also had some very good PuG experiences, and with the latesest change to looking to pair you up with people from your server, if available, I hope to have more positives! But, just like many things, one bad experience is often enough to over ride any number of good ones!

      Sometimes when DPS takes un-nessecary damage I will point it out to them, and ask them to be more careful – but it’s only effective about 1/3 of the time. I strongly suspect the rest of the time the fact that I’ve even made a comment is completely disregarded :)

  13. What is it about Grim Batol lately? I had an experience in there recently as well. The hunter with us wasn’t very familiar with the instance and I would vice them a run down of the fights. The fight with what’s his name and the dragon came up and they said, “This is where I totally lose it…” or something along those lines. Sure enough, they went down quick and I explained more before the next attempt. They got better, but still went down to the first dragon breath.

    At this point they were pretty down and said that they just couldn’t stay up. There was no way.

    I could tell the others wanted to move on but I “decreed” that they would do it right this time! A little more pep-talk and lo and behold they got it right! Boss down and they were happy! And they for loot off the boss as well!

    We still had problems on the last boss, but I just kept encouraging them and helping them understand the fights each time and I would like to believe helped them become a better player. On top of that, I like to think that I also showed the other people in the pug how to handle a less than optimal party member in a pug. With any luck, someone in the group will come away with the idea that with the right coaching, and a receptive audience, you can get through that pesky boss fight!

    That’s what I WANT to believe! We’ll see if it eventually pays off later.

    • I hope you are right!

      I’m glad to see there are more people out there who are encouraging :) A little patience with people can go such a long way! Not only that, but it can do miles to help a player who is struggling with their confidence!

      • Like someone else stated in the comments, it can sometimes be like progression raiding. Anyone that is quick to kick never progression raided. They never spent an entire evening banging their head against a new boss trying to learn the fight.

        And let’s face it. We all started out as a newb. What was it that finally helped us get better? Usually, someone that was patient with us and helped explain things. The earlier we cal help others, the better off everyone will be.

        Pay it Forward.

  14. Thank you so much for this post! Literally last night I was trying to get into Ahune to get the cloak because I’m trying hard to gear up my tree. I raided hard in wotlk, but then had to take a break and so am now gearing up again. I really don’t remember gearing up the first time to have been this horrible! I was going to try to heal Ahune (which I did plenty and happily last year…), but I had been ready for either boomy or tree and so had to switch my spec when I got into the instance. I then had no mana and so started fixing that WHEN THEY PULLED…. After that wipe (when btw I died first because I had so many mobs on me, wtf tank?), they looked at my gear, said that I was wearing dps gear and kicked me. I’m undergeared still, I agree with that, but I’ve been stacking int and following my stats guidelines so I am definitely not wearing dps gear. I was so hurt and if I wasn’t already in love with raid healing, I might have taken another long break from the game right there. I realize that it was them that were wrong, but the other horrible thing for me was that the waits for Ahune on my server are soooooooo long (45 mins sometimes) that it was so disheartening to get kicked unfairly after that long of waiting.

    I honestly don’t remember anything being this bad when I was gearing the last time (I came in towards the end of wotlk and so had to gear up pretty fast), and it some how makes me feel better that it’s not just me. I was really fretting that I had become a bad player or just not tough enough during my hiatus.

    Thank you as always for your wonderful and semi-psychic posts!
    Maenfalyn

  15. Keep at it! Not all groups are bad, it’s just hard to struggle through the bad ones to get to the good ones!

    One thing that I’ll do is note which role I’m supposed to fill when the queue pops up, and swap specs and sit down to drink before I select “accept”. I mean, all those DPS afk constantly and make the timer run long, they can wait a few seconds so I’m prepped when I zone in! ;)

  16. I wish this all worked differently though I’m not sure it can in any automated way. I usually say I hate PUGging, but that’s not the truth of it. I like playing in a cooperative way, learning as needed, working through challenges together — and I can only get that with friends these days. I remember it being different early on (talking vanilla days here) but I played DPS then and I might have just been lucky. I wish the LFD had a way of grouping you with like-minded folks, like if there was a toggle for CC versus bulldozing through, or fast versus cautious, or something like that. Color me wistful today, I guess.

  17. I made the mistake of queuing for a troll heroic because I hadn’t seen the revamped versions yet. I got a full guild group but for me and proceeded to be on the receiving end of an inordinant amount of abuse because my healing ( from my raiding healer main) sucked, I wasn’t using holy light (as a druid?!), because they claimed I must have just bought my account, etc etc. For whatever reason they never tried to kick me and decided to wait me out in org after they couldn’t do enough dps on the last boss in ZA and I refused to dps so their only 10k dpser ( the rest were averaging 7.5) could heal. I out waited them while tabbed out, got four replacements who could actually tank and dps while not standing in fire and we one shot it. Thankfully my ignore list isn’t full yet after adding them to it.

    I don’t remember lfg being so bad in wrath in my old battlegroup, but it is ridiculous how much abuse people are willing to dish out now. Unless I’ve already invested my time to get to the end, I’d rather leave than subject myself to people like that. I get plenty of points by raiding, heroics haven’t been needed to supplement in quite some time.

  18. I have been through at least a good 2 dozen pug’s exactly like you have listed … and I’ve learned that when you get kicked by people who have no clue what they are doing you simply have to let it go. Thankfully I have completed every piece of valor gear I need that hasn’t raid dropped and no longer need to max out the points each week. Anymore when doing heroics on my alts I now have a standard way of dealing with pugs that I think is helpful.

    1. On entering a pug I always make sure that I am the first person to say “hello everyone”. I do this to establish that if communication is an issue it isn’t because I won’t talk. I generally ask about the relative experience of the group. If I get absolutely no replies to my greeting or questions that raises a red flag. If the dps indicate a lack of xp or the tank doesn’t know the place I always state that I will mark the cc. Take the cc out of the tanks hands and into my own. If the group won’t follow the marks or use my experience to learn it is an immediate leave (even when I’m going as dps — the 30 min queue is less frustration than the group will be)

    2. As a raider and experienced heroic runner I have a relatively good feeling for the minimum gear and dps required for a heroic. I usually inspect the gear of the tank. If the tank has an overabundance of 333 gear or pvp gear you this is a second red flag.

    3. On bosses … every time there is a boss that requires special tactics (and for Grim Batol that is all of them) I always, always, always insist on asking before the pull who is on cc, kiting, interrupts, etc … any non-answers or BS and I give a group exactly one shot. You do sometimes come into a pug with a group using voice that is alts or what have you that don’t need to talk things through before hand … but asking is a must anyway. Evasions and non-answers are always a red flag.

    My general attitude has developed into one of being willing to stay and help those who are willing to learn. The trick to this is establishing for yourself before you enter the pug what your personal requirements are:

    1. Communication: Unresponsive groups/members are an indication that they are unwilling to put forth a minimal amount of effort to listen to good advice. You cannot help someone that won’t admit to being new or give you feedback.
    2. Minimum gear: Some people are way to picky here … If it is clear that some members of the group are not geared I insist on cc. No CC means leaving … the headaches aren’t worth it.
    3. Courtesy: I will not stay and tolerate plain asshole personalities regardless of there level of competence. I don’t tolerate these individuals in RL and I won’t in game. I vote to kick people that exceed my limit on this. If it doesn’t go through then I leave.

    If the group won’t meet these 3 basic requirements then I leave. In a sense you made the first mistake … the unfortunate truth about the random nature of the LFD is that you must protect yourself … you have to set your standards/limits first and then you can engage and help the people around you. It is no different than your relationships in your guild when raiding — you have to set a minimal standard that suits what you want out of the game and your experience and when those standards can’t be met you remove yourself from the situation. The important point is to be very pro-active from the moment you step into the instance. Be a helpful good leader and the people that are new and you can help will naturally follow you. The others can’t be 100% avoided but set your limits and you can minimize the impact they will have on you.

  19. Beru, have you been perusing the Healer Q&A thread? There were several suggestions by people pointing out that when people are stupid, it’s the healers that get blame for it, so don’t cause them DAMAGE when they stand in the bad stuff, but rather debuff them so their dps falls off. They think that would be a more effective ‘training’ tool for dps that won’t get out of bad stuff than killing them… I think it’s an interesting idea, but I’m not sure it’s better than just killing them… but it’s true at least healers don’t take the blame then.

  20. That really is a depressing story, Beru. :( I would feel exactly the same – not necessarily greatly upset at being kicked (temporarily, sure, but probably a blessing in disguise in the long run) – but I would feel so, so sorry for a more sensitive person who had to suffer such abuse. I know many players who do not look at pugging lightly, and such cruel behavior would crush them. Also, the types of players in that pug would normally have also heaped on the verbal abuse before the vote kick.

    The vote kick feature really needs some work. The main problem I find with it right now is that there are zero repercussions for abusing it. It’s not like eBay, where if you leave someone negative feedback, they get the chance to defend themselves/point out that you are lying, etc. It’s also an extreme social attack – even if the vote fails, everyone except the voted-on person KNOWS that someone tried to vote kick someone, and it creates unease and tension that rarely goes away. For example, if a healer is whining at a tank to pull faster, and then a vote kick comes up “slow ass tank” and then fails, I’m extremely displeased with the healer and suspicious that they’ll actually play properly since they didn’t get their way.

    I don’t even know what a solution could be. I just know that right now, it needs a lot of work.

  21. While I agree that kicking you out that rapidly was a jerk move, not everything is lost.

    The 4 other players most likely replaced you to continue the run. What about your replacement? Will that one outrageously surpass you and manage to heal them through stupid? Probably not. Will he/she get kicked too? Probably. But you know, it can only work for some time. After a while, MAYBE one of the 4 players will say “hey, maybe I’m the one doing something wrong or did we just go through a streak of 6 bad healers?”. Or maybe they will just get a healer that is more vocal than you are and they will get a “you bunch of , MOVE out of the fire”. Who knows, perhaps they will think again before pressing the vote kick button in the future.

  22. I find healer hate totally crushing, even when I know that a death/wipe wasn’t my fault. (I got no heals! says the tank who stood in Glubtok’s fire wall.)
    But you do still sometimes get good groups and meet cool people. My baby Pallie had an LFD to H Blackrock yesterday with 5 from diff servers where we decided to try to save Raz (he seems like a good bloke). It was funny and different (there’s a guide but we didn’t know that) and we stood around for a chat after our success. I wish LFDs were like this every time.

  23. B,
    I’m late getting here so I probably won’t say anything that wasn’t said before, but I’m really sorry that happened to you. I’ve never been VtK’d myself, but my buddy had it happen – as a healer – in a situation almost identical to yours. He takes care of his younger brother and sister (he’s not a kid, but let’s just leave it at that) and asked the group to wait a minute or two while he took care of something. The tank apparently didn’t see the message or didn’t care and when he came back he’d been kicked, too. He’s a bit of a curmudgeon anyway, so this fit right into his world schema, but it still irritated him to no end.

    The small courtesies that we used to live with – used to make the game livable – have slowly disappeared. I don’t want to quit playing WoW, but the more and more I see things like this happen or have them happen to me, the more and more I think of the communities in the other MMOs I’ve played. None of them were like this. None. And Blizz wants us to “police the community” ourselves, when it’s one that’s grown out of their decisions.

    Just today (this isn’t nearly as bad as what happened to you) I was healing on my shammy in BRD, which I’m intimately familiar with from way back in the day, and a hotheaded tank who outleveled the place by about 6 levels (why was he even put in there by LFD?) kept running around not paying any attention to what he was doing. He didn’t know where to go, kept asking questions and ignoring my directions, complained that my dps was too low – mind you I’m healing – and then berated me for not following him and him “soloing a boss,” (he’d gone down and found Lord Roccor while the group and I stood in the Ring of Law waiting for him) though in fact as soon as we saw him enter combat we all went running after him. I pointed out that he should either lead or not; if he wanted us to follow him, fine, but don’t ask me where to go and then continuously goes in the opposite direction. I got berated a bit more, then left the group.

    It’s frustrating to think that in the end, the bad people can “win,” so to speak, simply by being bad. Whether it’s blaming others for their errors (as in your case) or being enough of a jerk to run someone off (as in my case), they get to feel a misguided self-satisfaction with what happened. It’s terrible reinforcement for the game, as you point out. Blizz really needs to do more about it, but what? I don’t know. It’s a very tough problem.

  24. Let’s face it, it’s because more kids and younger people play MMO’s than they used to and these young people don’t care at all how they behave on the interwebs. That’s not to say that it is ONLY these types of baboons that treat other people poorly, but I say, without anyone to teach them how to play with respect for others, with no consequences for “ass-hattery” the cycle will not stop. Back in my EQ days you actually had a reputation to worry about. If people knew you were a jerk they didn’t group with you and neither did anyone else on the server. WoW makes it easy for people to treat others poorly with no consequences at all. The other unfortunate thing about LFD is that when you meet great people like Beru, you only get to group with them once or if you are lucky for maybe 1 or 2 more heroics. Don’t get me wrong, I love grouping with friends who I have known for years in WoW, but one of the great things is meeting NEW people and making NEW friends and playing them to and the best way to do that is running heroics and dungeons with them.

  25. I hear you.

    My most recent experience being vote-kicked was when I said “Can I get MOTW?” The bear tank got very offended that I had actually dared to not get MOTW when he was casting it, even more offended that I dared ask for it (“So I see you’re just one of those DPS wanting to see bigger numbers on Recount”), and then vote-kicked me.

    And the group actually all agreed to kick me. Because I had the temerity to not receive MOTW when he cast it.

  26. The invention of the blessed anonymity tool aka LFG, was a grave mistake in the first place. It undermines almost every principle of community. the vote-kick was therefore just the next step and makes sense in that context – which is a sad one. and imo it’s a very cowardly way of dealing with people.
    for which I don’t even blame the players who use it, because like I said the issue lies in the entire system. I blame Blizzard for going down such a lane. :)

  27. I have taken the attitude (right or wrong), that LFG tool is supposed to be used by relatively new people that are trying to learn the class and gear their toon. With this attitude, I never vote to kick anyone, I take the attitude, Ok, does everyone understand the fight? Do you understand the mechanics of getting out of the bad? Most people will usually learn, and get better. Just as in raiding, its all about communications.
    Knowing you Beru, I am sure you would have done something very similar if you hadn’t been kicked. I really can’t believe they would kick you after the one wipe, that is just stupid.

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  29. LFG tool killed accountability, along with reduced cooldown time on server transfers. Between not worrying about reputation and the ability to move every 3 days, is it any wonder why douchebaggery is at an all-time high?

  30. I went through this in vanilla. It took a raid healer putting her foot down and telling the main tank he wouldn’t get any heals, ever, unless he took me to a Blackrock Spire. We had 3 non healers and us two priests, she went afk and he accidentally pulled momma spider. With no way to handle poison I was struggling but keeping him up as he tanked and he actually stopped long enough to type out if I thought i could heal him. Since I was kind of busy I manged to reply while casting a gheal ‘no’ and went back to what I was doing. I never did get to go to a vanilla raid in vanilla because of so many people like him who thought you needed raid gear to heal raids. Whats happening now is a natural evolution of that attitude from the raider to the casual player.

    One thing I do know, if I was new to the game and faced this level of BS without being used to it I wouldn’t heal or tank. My Mother tried wow and we have to coax her into an instance with a min 4 man group because of how people act.

  31. Sorry you got kicked, Beru. It really is their loss though. I mean really — what sort of replacement did they hope to get? A player who’s healed for years and who’s healing HM raids in the same role and spec is about as good as it gets.

    I’m an average healer. I like it but my heart is in dishing out the damage (hello Atonement!) so when I do queue for a random as a healer, I’m always a little anxious. I can keep an average group up fine but when people start slacking, I struggle and take it personally. I don’t want to wipe. The consequence of all this is that I have to be in a particularly good frame of mind to queue in LFD. If I got kicked after a wipe, which hasn’t happened yet, I’d queue again but certainly not as a healer. I’m sure that makes some people breathe a sigh of relief but it doesn’t help build a strong, confident core of healers.

    Still, I’m not down on LFD. I play a lot of alts and queue for lots of pugs. They’re mostly good experiences and I credit a lot of that to my own willingness to help those who are struggling rather than kicking them or berating them. Those who refuse to at least listen get minimal heals. I’m happy to help but not interested in covering for people. I recall one DK recently who was pulling aggro, standing in the bad and taking almost as much damage as the tank. I kept him at about 10-20% health. It’s remarkable what melee do when they sit at low health for long enough (hint: it’s not bandaging themselves).

  32. I remember having a perfect run in Old Kingdom on an alt, we were all having fun, chatting about nothing and running towards the last boss. Some of us were a little ahead of the tank so we stopped and waited for him. Suddenly, I was removed from the group. And I was seriously freaked. There had been NO reason what so ever for me to be kicked. To this day I think that what actually happened was that one of the others took the opportunity to inspect me when we were just standing around, and accidentally hit “vote to kick” since it is just below. I have done that too (this was before you had to type in a reason). And without any thinking, everyone else in the group just pressed “accept”, just as we always just press popups on our screen with our thinking. So I can definitely agree with you – put some more thought into your kicks people.

  33. I only vote kick dps who ask why I’m not healing them. My answer is usually “because I was doing 12k HPS effective healing on the tank”. Had an extremely squishy tank in a trollroic who admitted to being new. We were being patient and talking them through the bosses, telling them it’s ok that we wipe, trollroics are hard etc. Then we had a dps leave and the tank invited their friend. Who was a total douchebag. “heals u there” mid fight as soon as they die when I’m spamming heals as hard as I can on the tank. Come ON dude. If I hadn’t been ‘there’ we wouldn’t have lasted past 10 seconds. And he claimed he knew those fights inside and out. Sure.

    I was only in that dungeon cause I queued with 3 guildies. Stupid sleepy guildies.

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  35. Something almost as bad as this happened to the healer I got in my random ZA group. Before we even opened the doors, the tank and other 2 dps left the instance (Instance! Not group!) because the healer “wasn’t geared enough”. They kept this up for 10 min, finally left, and, lo and behold, the healer did an excellent job.

    And then today, a tank in ZG refused to pull the last boss after a wipe because one of the dps had never done the fight before :(

    Entirely too much stress comes from dealing with LFD groups…

  36. My DK got kicked once as dps. I was going about the daily like I usually do, watching threat, but I will admit I’ve gotten lazy since I barely pull it as unholy. The starting trash was a bit dicy, I would pull maybe one mob for a few seconds before switching targets and having it back on the tank. I think it was a mage who kept pulling too. I even saved them with a well timed DG to get the mob back on the tank. Before I start ranting, first boss, I pull aggro randomly, get effectively one shot (still amazed at how fast plate dps can die). Now, it’s probably the tanks fault, because he couldn’t hold aggro on a single target boss. If I was playing Frost it would have been my fault, since I’ve been messing with the spec and its burst can be deadly, but I was playing unholy. I was swiftly kicked after that with no chance to find out what went wrong .I looked to my meter, I was top dps with the mage who was pulling before at 3rd, barely above the tank. I didn’t know what to do. I actually logged out after that, because I had nothing to do for another 30 min. I’ve actually switched mostly to PvP while attempting to build a tank set on the side so this stuff wont happen as often, unless I’m actually failing.

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  39. I hate to admit this, but I’ve vote kicked the wrong person on at least one occasion, and this might have been exactly what happened to you. The group wipes, or something goes horribly wrong, you have one person in mind as the culprit (tank, healer, dps), naturally you think everyone else is also annoyed at this person – the vote kick window comes up, and “yes, let’s get rid of this jerk.” Too bad I didn’t look at the name, and it was actually the guy screwing up our run successfully vote kicking the one person who called him on it in chat.

    /facepalm

  40. I had a similar experience a month ago or so when my tauren pally got in a ToC5 run. After the first event, the shaman left his totems up at the door and pulled all three groups around Eadric – tank naturally couldn’t pick up all the threat nor could I heal all the damage and boom, we wiped.

    Someone asked what happened. I replied that the shaman totems had pulled everything but we’d be good this time.

    Shaman says “fail heals” and I suddenly find myself sitting in Dalaran. “You have been removed from the group”.

    I was pissed and hurt and frustrated. That’s my second pally healer. I’ve tanked, healed and dpsed that instance ad nausem. I know the damage outputs and the whens and whys and exactly when someone’s not doing what they’re supposed to do.

    And then I wondered what a new player in my position would have done? And the answer I came up with wasn’t pretty. I had just changed the toon to holy five levels prior. I know that if I’d been a new player, I’d have probably gone back to the crappy dps I did on my ret set and lived with it… probably wouldn’t have played that alt much. After a bad experience with druid healing in BC when I was still fairly new to the game, I swore off healing till I discovered my disc priest last xpac.

    There’s so much QQ on the forums about not having enough tanks and healers. I mean, the Ahune queue for dps is 30 minutes! That’s a bit insane! But it’s no wonder when tanks and healers are so often treated the way they are. I’ve already been cussed out twice in my queues for Ahune – both times as a tank and both times for things that were out of my control. It’s also no wonder that tanks and healers often go into things looking for a fight, ready to jump on people.

  41. I had a whole paragraph here about treating players with respect and kindness, and how asshats are asshats….

    But! In the spirit of positivity, I thought I’d offer my own excellent experience in Stratholme on my feral druid alt, instead. (Asshats get too much of our time, anyway, don’t they?) So, Strat, a few days ago….

    If there was ever a dungeon where I might reasonably have expected to be vote-kicked, that was the one:
    1) I had just switched from balance, so was having trouble learning how much Swipe was too much Swipe before the mobs decided I was tastier-looking than the tank.
    2) I accidentally pulled an entire group of mobs *while we were on a boss*
    3) At the end, I was defeated by Rivendare’s door and had to sit outside while the rest of the group downed him.

    In hindsight, certainly not my *best* outing….

    Are you laughing? Because I was. What could have easily been an experience that ruined me for the Dungeon Finder for days was an absolute pleasure all the way through. From the tank whose first words were, “Hi, I haven’t played this guy in six months” to the hunter who ran through the dungeon wailing for Holy Water obsessively, to the healer who broke out in dance, and the spriest who randomly yelled everything in caps and ran around going, “AHHHHHHHHH AHHHHH!” in party chat as he dps’ed with abandon (to be fair, that was the pull where I decided we needed another dozen mobs on us, so maybe the panic was justified). And through all the hiccups, it was just laughter and good-natured teasing.

    Quotes:
    “Wow, there’s a lot of ugly mobs in there.” (that would be the abom section)
    “AHHHH! OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! AHHHHHH!”
    “Doors are hard for me.” “I’m hard for you.” (no genders given, I’m pretty sure he thought I was a guy)
    And most importantly, “lol” (many, many times)

    It was a quirky, crazy, imperfect, joy of a time, and it was all because even though the performance was underwhelming, the people were awesome. So even though I’m sorry such a crappy thing happened to you, thank you for this post – it’s inspired me to strive a little more to be the kind of player I’d like to play with. =)

  42. That mage was unbelieveable. He stood directly in the fire, and died, and then had the nerve to say the reason was “I got no heals?” I’m sorry, I would have dropped that group before they even gave me the chance to be removed.

    Some of the best LFD groups I’ve had are ones where we’ve wiped multiple times, but the people were friendly and we were all having fun. As a matter of fact, a couple weeks ago I was having a bout of insomnia and was tanking extremely sloppily due to my sleep-deprived brain. By the end of the run, I’d died so much my durability was single digits (the healer was a bit slow to react, but hey, I was also sucking hard at tanking), But the folks I was with were so friendly, and so awesome, that I really wished I’d had the ability to friend cross server for groups then and there. As it is, I screenshotted their names for if that feature ever becomes available.

    If someone shows a willingness to learn, and a bit of humility, I have infinite patience. Infinite.

    If someone is abrasive, insulting, or just plain rude, I will vote kick in a second.

    Joe Ego’s reply hit at the heart of the problem. People think they don’t owe anyone else in the run anything. It’s all mememe, gogogo, and the rest of the party may as well be NPCs with how replaceable they are. Part of it is the anonymity and lack of consequences or accountability that comes with being cross realm and knowing you’ll never see the other people again; part of it too though is the instant gratification and ease with which you can replace a person. If you just don’t like their playstyle, you can simply kick them and another player ports in seamlessly. It’s like sitting there mashing the randomize button until the character creator gives you a combination of features you like. You don’t feel bad that you didn’t like that particular combination of pixels. They’re just pixels.

    LFD currently has all the friendliness and community of 4chan’s /B/. It’s that bad.

  43. As other readers have said, this attitude shows itself from the lowest levels. I had such a horrible experience with a group in Scarlet Monastery on a fledgling holy priest that I never played the character again – maybe I am over-sensitive, but I am experienced and I dread to think of the effect some groups would have on a new player. They would probably run away to Rift & never come back.

  44. I’ve been vote kicked once on my second resto druid when I did H HoO and the tank did not hold aggro on snaks on the first boss >.<

    What I found useful is after a wipe instead of starting the conversation with “do you understand how this fight works”, launch straight into explaining strats and point out what they are doing wrong and what they need to fix it. If they don't understand what they are doing wrong fast, they will vote kick you ..

  45. I know exactly what you mean. I have been playing for about half a year …. a month into playing, I was vote-kicked out of a dungeon for DPSing as a Protection Warrior. I wasn’t stealing aggro and – even as a prot – was pulling the second best DPS. I had no idea I shouldn’t be DPSing as a Prot, I hadn’t been playing long enough.

    There was no explanation other than, “Y R U PROT?” and then … bam, I was out. It was months before I did a dungeon again.

    While this was my fault for being ignorant, it’s still a bit shocking for a new player.

  46. I think the LFD feature should read dungeon and raid achievements and place those players accordingly. It can’t be all that difficult, can it? I mean, group up players that have several heroic boss kills together, because they will all want to run the dungeon at the same pace. Group new players together, as they all might have the same amount of patience for one another…

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